The Great Diamond: The coastal, iconic barn

The Great Diamond: The coastal, iconic barn

The Great Diamond: The coastal, iconic barn

The Great Diamond, with a 28x32’ footprint, is designed to fit on a small lot without sacrificing interior space. Reminiscent of Maine’s iconic barns, the Great Diamond blends comfortable spaces with an efficient form.

Size: 1,800 – 2,400 square feet

Bedrooms: 3 - 5

Bathrooms: 2.5 – 3.5

Number of finished floors: 2-4

FIRST FLOOR The first floor features an open plan living-dining-kitchen area, with additional room for an entry, mudroom and powder room. (Past iterations have even included a spot for a dog-grooming sink.) The open concept of the dining and living room allows great flexibility for however you want to set it up, and is designed specifically to feel connected yet cozy throughout the first floor. The kitchen often has an island or peninsula, making room for people to pull up a stool. Gas fireplaces and wood burning stoves have been installed in the main living space to help establish that hygge feeling everyone craves during the winter. (You won’t actually need them for heating since this home is designed so efficiently.) Because the house is a square, your entryway can feasibly be on any of the four sides - depending on site orientation, access, and views.


SECOND FLOOR The second floor typically has three bedrooms, each with its own closet, the size of which is flexible. There is a full bathroom with additional space for a laundry room as well. All the bedrooms open off a short, central hallway and are multi-functional. While they certainly can be used for sleeping, they also could be offices, exercise spaces, or a fully outfitted art studio. There is also the possibility of having one en suite bathroom in addition to the shared bath on this floor.

THIRD FLOOR The third floor is technically the attic space but can be finished to become open flex space with an angled roof line that meets the walls. Overall, it has the potential to add 600 square feet of additional living space with use possibilities including a spacious playroom, studio, or a generous master suite. This floor can also be divided into a couple of smaller spaces, including a small closet/storage area and a full bathroom. Perhaps the most appealing feature is views in three directions, thanks to the dormer on the northern face of the house. You can even add a hanging deck to take full advantage of whatever it is you would like to look at in the distance.


GARAGE Yes, the Great Diamond also can have a space for your cars and bikes to live. Garages are often designed to be connected to the house via a breezeway or mudroom, though can also be freestanding on the property. The height of the garage includes a second floor that can be outfitted as little or as much as you desire.

PORCH We recognize that planned outdoor spaces are just as important as indoor ones and so the Great Diamond was designed with three possible porches in mind. There can be some version of a back porch or deck, extending into a side screened-in porch (though for those of you who want year-round porch access, it can be glassed-in). The enclosed porch is also accessible via the main living space. There can be a large (or small) front entry porch, covered, with just enough room for a couple of chairs to rock in while watching the world pass by.


BASEMENT The basement holds all of the mechanical equipment that keeps the Great Diamond heated, cooled, and well-ventilated. Depending on your site, this can be designed as a walk-out or daylight basement. And if the previously mentioned rooms don’t quite add up to enough for your taste, the basement can be finished for an extra 900 square feet of living space.

EFFICIENCY The form of the Great Diamond is simple, the footprint essentially a square, which maximizes the house’s efficiency making it easy to heat and less complex to seal-up tight. The gable dormer is placed to the north, leaving an uninterrupted area of roof to the south for potential solar panel installation. Large windows let in the maximum amount of sun during the winter, and small sunshades over the windows allow for shading and cooling during the summer months. The shades are designed to mimic the style of the overall house – whether it be continuing the roof shingles or a trellis style overhang. Triple-pane windows, airtight construction, and thorough insulating means that two to three mini splits placed throughout the house will keep you incredibly warm (or cool) through all the seasons’ weather.

MULTIPLICITY OF STYLES While the barn shape dotting the Maine landscape was the inspiration for this design, how it comes into being is completely up to your design taste. Do you like a more modern finish, with a metal roof, white window frames, and metal railings? Are you more attracted to warm wood, a classic shingle exterior, and paned windows? The exterior look is completely up to you! The interior finishes are equally adaptable to showcase the style and feel you want your home to have. There are many opportunities for built-in shelving and cabinets in the living areas, a floor-to-ceiling pantry, or small nooks for your letter-writing desk.

Okay, but there must be something you CAN’T have, right? And it’s true. The staircase is specifically designed as a “U” shape in order to efficiently fit within the footprint. Though there’s little flexibility on this style, you can choose what the stairs and railings look like, and whether you’d like to include windows along the stairwell, bringing more light into your home. It’s also tricky to design the master bedroom into the first floor, given the footprint size, but when see the views you could wake up to on the third floor, you’ll never look back.


With the ability to become a 4 or even 5-bedroom home on a 28 x 32’ footprint, this is a great fit for families looking for an efficient space into which they can grow. The open floorplan downstairs allows for communal gathering space while the private rooms on the second and third floor can be adapted to whatever use is needed. Having another child? There’s space for a nursery! Is one of your teenagers moving out? Turn their room into a place for your yoga practice. Or just have all three rooms hold your extensive book collection. The choice (given to you by the flexibility of this space) is yours!